On Teaching with Classical Arabic Texts That ‘Capture a Sense of Marvel, Wonder, Humor, And, Above All, Adventure’

I use these selections from the   Expeditions   in my introductory courses (whether to Islam or to Arabic literature) as well as in my more advanced courses on the Qurʾan and Islamic political thought because they are foundational narratives. Here, in an interview that also appears on the Library of Arabic Literature (LAL) website,

Continue reading On Teaching with Classical Arabic Texts That ‘Capture a Sense of Marvel, Wonder, Humor, And, Above All, Adventure’

A Pear, a Bear, and Some Hair: Caricature and Freedom of the Press

Many books have been published on the history of caricature, and they always include several of La Caricature’s notorious images. (I assure you, this was written 169 years ago, not yesterday.) Instead of the liberal policies that were promised as a result of the July Revolution of 1830, Louis Philippe immediately instituted press restrictions. Charlie

Continue reading A Pear, a Bear, and Some Hair: Caricature and Freedom of the Press

Game of Thrones, “Death is the Enemy”

I’m tired of watching interestingly complex female characters become mean and stupid—the Sansa and Arya thing is interesting, intermittently, but it’s also just so damned unnecessary, and requires them both to be maximally petty and mean and lacking in insight or compassion—and I’m SO SO SO tired of seeing Queen Daenerys cheerfully subordinate her entire

Continue reading Game of Thrones, “Death is the Enemy”

Ruling: Alef Bookstores To Be Taken Over by Egyptian Government

This is the same state-run business that’s set to take over   Daily News Egypt   by the same Thursday decree. It was announced last Thursday that an “Egyptian governmental committee tasked with   appraising and seizing the funds of members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood group” was set to confiscate the assets of 16

Continue reading Ruling: Alef Bookstores To Be Taken Over by Egyptian Government

Why Renee Hayek Should Win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction

An issue that is more important now than it has ever been. Proclamations of love Yara begins to receive text messages from an unknown number proclaiming love for her, which leads her to speculate that it’s the father of a boy she’s helping. The third sister, Rita, lives abroad with her French partner and doesn’t

Continue reading Why Renee Hayek Should Win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction

The Return of Fun: BOOM! Box Comics Make Progressive Politics Entertaining

Overall, BOOM! They sometimes behave according to more traditional gender norms — for example, they spend lots of time doing art, and April dresses in a very girly style — but they are in no way shackled to these norms. It even shows that gender is not fixed or immutable. Box title that failed to

Continue reading The Return of Fun: BOOM! Box Comics Make Progressive Politics Entertaining

Soviet Pseudoscience: The History of Mind Control

Inspired by the scientific management of labor devised by the mechanical engineer F. There should be no pointed objects, and no fire. W. Taylor, Bolsheviks championed the “selfless devotion” and “organic fusion” of the soviet worker with the factory as a whole. Industrialization and the machine were seen as tools of emancipation rather than oppression.

Continue reading Soviet Pseudoscience: The History of Mind Control

Sunday Submissions: The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts

The magazine   Lunch Ticket   is   hosting the relatively new Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts: The prize is funded by   writers and translators, and was founded Allie Marini   and Jennifer McCharen, who launched the prize to support the work of peer translators. Poetry: 10 pages. ENTRY FEE:

Continue reading Sunday Submissions: The Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts

The Bodies We Won’t See: Gary Simmons and “Face to Face” at the California African American Museum

The use of white paint present in both exhibitions suggests that African-American artists struggle to separate the means of resistance from the cultural productions they wish to denounce. Pants shield his legs until the painting ends just above his knees; the frame excludes his body below his thigh. Artists such as Adrian Piper and Andrea

Continue reading The Bodies We Won’t See: Gary Simmons and “Face to Face” at the California African American Museum

From Pariahs to the Privileged: On Keri Leigh Merritt’s “Masterless Men”

They would much rather have poor whites dependent on them for information than risk their exposure to abolitionist arguments, particularly those that portrayed poor whites as another of slavery’s victims. An 1849 abolitionist editorial, for instance, declared that “the free white people of these States have no interest in slave property, but on the contrary

Continue reading From Pariahs to the Privileged: On Keri Leigh Merritt’s “Masterless Men”

Saturday Summer Re-Runs: Egyptian Novelist Mansoura Ezz Eldin, Carrying the Mantle of Edgar Allan Poe

No one, she believes, has the right to impose their view on others. When asked about the story “Gothic Night,” Ez Eldin said that the theme of the story falls in a nightmare – an ideal uncanny context – where a giant monster wearing a cloak appears, rushing through the streets. She avoided despair by

Continue reading Saturday Summer Re-Runs: Egyptian Novelist Mansoura Ezz Eldin, Carrying the Mantle of Edgar Allan Poe

The Last Bastion of Free America?: Meagan Day’s “Maximum Sunlight”

By the end of Maximum Sunlight, Day hasn’t cleanly answered her questions about Tonopah. For the progeny of white settlers, land in this part of the country represents both freedom and safety — freedom from other people and safety from anyone imagined to be threatening. Born of Lakota and Wyandot heritage, he held numerous world

Continue reading The Last Bastion of Free America?: Meagan Day’s “Maximum Sunlight”

Christopher Nolan in Command: The Dunkirk Spirit Fleshed

Soon after, her husband returns home from his adventure and politely asks what she did during his absence. The IMAX sound system is also engineered to enhance the muscular sonic effects that Nolan exploits to magnify both the thundering reverberation of the bombs and, crucially, the varied, consistently impressive, orchestral accompaniment composed by Hans Zimmer.

Continue reading Christopher Nolan in Command: The Dunkirk Spirit Fleshed

Friday Finds: Miral al-Tahawy’s ‘Writing the Body and the Rhetoric of Protest in Arab Women’s Literature’

Miral al-Tahawy   has published four novels, all of which have been translated into English and published by AUC Press: The Tent (trans. But writing came along, took my caution by surprise, and chose to uncover many of the features of the identity I was trying to disavow through denial. It was the body of

Continue reading Friday Finds: Miral al-Tahawy’s ‘Writing the Body and the Rhetoric of Protest in Arab Women’s Literature’